Noooooo! Summer can’t really be over–so soon! Yes, boys and girls in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is officially over. Children are back at school and germs are rubbing their little whatevers together just waiting to pounce with the shortening days. But we’ll be ready!
Following are must-have home remedies for the most common nastiness of the season. Keep the ingredients on hand to put into use as soon as symptoms start.
1. Aromatherapy Headache Reliever
Headache often accompanies colds and flu due to congestion and restricted blood flow. The essential oils from these aromatic herbs will ease headache pain (and loosen nasal congestion, too).
- 1/2 gallon water, boiling
- ¼ cup dried rosemary
- ¼ cup dried mint
1. Pour boiling water into a large glass bowl and stir in herbs.
2. Lean your head over the bowl and drape a towel like a tent over your head and the bowl to keep the steam inside.
3. Inhale the steam from the bowl as long as you can.
4. Repeat as necessary.
2. Chest Rub
Better than a petroleum-based salve, this DIY rub smells good, feels good, and naturally eases congestion.
- 4 teaspoons grated beeswax
- 4 tablespoons shea butter
- 6 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil
- 20 drops each of mint, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils
1. Melt the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a pot on the stove until just melted.
2. Mix until well combined.
3. Mix in essential oils. Allow the blend to cool.
4. Pour mixture into a sealable glass container. Apply as needed to the chest to relieve congestion.
3. Cough Drops
If you’ve never had a homemade cough drop, you’re in for a treat. No junk in these but simply nutritious and soothing. Horehound is an anesthetic, analgesic, and expectorant.
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup dried horehound
- 1 ½ cups raw honey
- Sweet rice flour
1. Place the horehound and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Boil the mixture for 3 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. While the mixture is simmering, cover a cookie sheet with about ¼ inch of sweet rice flour. Use your thumb to make indents in the flour. These will be your molds for the cough drops.
4. After the horehound has simmered 15 minutes, strain it out of the water with a cheesecloth. Squeeze the leaves to remove as much water as possible.
5. Bring the water back to a boil and stir in honey. Heat until the mixture reaches 300º F.
6. Remove from heat and immediately pour into the flour molds.
7. Allow drops to cool and harden at room temperature. Take one drop as necessary throughout the day to ease cough and sore throat.
4. Cough Syrup
Over-the-counter cough syrups are full of synthetic sweeteners and analgesics. Nature does better than any laboratory–tastes better, too. These ingredients add nutrition as well as their soothing properties; honey and cinnamon are anti-inflammatories and antivirals to calm congested lungs and send the germs a-packing.
- 1/4 cup raw organic honey
- 1/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons organic cinnamon, ground
1. Melt the coconut oil on the stove until just melted.
2. Stir in honey and cinnamon and mix until a paste forms.
3. Eat the syrup one teaspoon at a time as needed throughout the day.
5. Muscle Rub
Aches and pains often accompany flu. The essential oils will penetrate into your muscles and joints to provide warm, soothing relief. Clove is an effective anesthetic, used for dental pain before the invention of novacain.
- ½ cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops clove essential oil
- 5 drops wintergreen essential oil
- 5 drops spruce essential oil
1. Melt coconut oil on the stove until just melted.
2. Pour coconut oil into a sealable glass container and mix in essential oils.
3. Let mixture cool and allow oil to solidify, then spread on sore muscles as needed. Seal tightly and store in a cool, dark place.
6. Thyme Tea
Thyme is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant–good for helping fight infection and soothing your respiratory tract.
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons raw local honey
1. Boil the water and thyme together on the stove.
2. Strain out the thyme leaves.
3. Stir in the honey and pour into a mug. Enjoy while warm.
Best wishes for an easy cold and flu season!